Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Quota reform movement

30 FB accounts accused of smear campaign

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Special Correspondent :
Dozens of Facebook (FB) accounts have been accused of spreading a ‘smear campaign’ during the recent quota reform movement by students.
Police said anti-government elements launched the campaign deliberately to catch fish in muddy water
“Almost 30 Facebook accounts have been identified for the smear campaign during the quota reform protest. Rumours have also been spread from several Facebook pages to fuel rage and anger among the protesters,” Nazmul Islam, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Cyber Crime Unit under the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) told media on Sunday.
The Unit primarily listed 200 Facebook accounts for circulating fake news on the protest. Now we trim down the account numbers to 30 after careful analysis of the contents and posts.
 â€œThe Cyber Crime Unit is monitoring and analyzing the Facebook profiles, pages and Tweets to determine the crime. It is also working on the suspected Facebook IDs and Facebook pages to identify the campaigners and admins using geolocation tracking,” said Nazmul Islam.
The Cyber Crime Unit filed a case under the ICT Act with Ramna Police Station in this regard on April 11 accusing a number of anonymous people. It also listed about 200 Facebook accounts and named several Facebook pages and posts for spreading rumours such as death of a student at the beginning of the movement and allegations against a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist for cutting off the tendons of a female student.
Police also sued about 700 quota reform demonstrators over charges of vandalising government vehicle, engaging clash with police, and creating public suffering by blocking roads.
On April 8, students and job seekers gathered around Shahbag from the morning demanding reform in existing quota system in public service. At around 8pm, police lobbed teargas shells on the protesters to disperse them. It has led clashes between the police and the protestors all throughout the night.
On that night rumour spread in social media sites that a Dhaka University (DU) student had died after being injured on his eye teargas shell explosion. Without verifying the incident, the protesters vandalised residence of DU Vice-Chancellor fuelling tension further.
On the following day, rumour spread that BCL president of Sufia Kamal female residence hall of DU, Iffat Jahan Isha, had cut off the tendons of the feet of a female student from her own hall.
Isha was expelled from BCL and the university immediately.
BCL later rescinded their order following formation of a probe body by DU authorities.


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